BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin, Vienna 16/03/1973 (new 4 source matrix)

29 Apr

ITALIAN / ENGLISH

Il tour europeo del Led Zeppelin del marzo 1973 è – per quanto riguarda le performance – uno dei picchi del gruppo. Sebbene RP tra la fine del 1972 e gennaio 1973 avesse sofferto di problemi alla voce e non fosse probabilmente più il cantante rock con timbro celestiale ed estensione senza limiti che aveva in mente il pubblico, dal punto di vista strumentale la band viaggiava su livelli stellari. La scaletta era la più ricca sino a quel momento, il mood del gruppo era ancora altissimo, il management al pieno della propria capacità e lucidità e Jimmy Page suonava come il Jimmy Page dell’immaginario collettivo. Copenhagen (02/03/1973, Goteborg (04/03/1973), Stoccolma (06/03/1973), poi due spettacoli cancellati in Svezia e Norvegia e quindi Norimberga (14/03/1973) e appunto Vienna il 16/03/1973. Dopo, altri 11 concerti spesi tra Germania e Francia (dove ne vennero comunque annullati altri due per disordini), quattro settimane di pausa e poi via per l’altrettanto leggendario tour americano speso tra maggio, giugno e luglio.

IL concerto di Vienna si tenne alla Stadthalle, sala indoor da 16.000 posti e fu un successo, questo uno stralcio del resoconto di allora del Melody Maker:

“The historic city of Vienna, normally bulging at the seams with Strauss and grand operas, played host on Friday night to Led Zeppelin at the enormous Wiener Stadthalle.
“Introduced as the ‘Rock sensation of the year’, the group took the stage and went straight into a deafening version of ‘Good Times Bad Times’ [sic]. Robert Plant strode around with chest barred and hair flailing, thrusting his pelvic grind at the audience, while Jimmy Page, wearing his Les Paul low-strung, crushed out well amplified chords. ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ followed, and both songs included some dynamic drumming from John Bonham, who hammered the skins for all his was worth.
“Things quieted down in ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’, their only acoustic number. Page then brought out his double-necked Gibson for ‘The Song Remains the Same’, from the new album and John Paul Jones who it was announced was suffering from a stomach complaint, provided some superb orchestral effects on the mellotron.
“The opening bars of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ were greeted with a huge roar, and when the band finally broke into ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that was the cue for a general stampede towards the front of the sage.” — Dave Hopkins [Melody Maker, 1973-03-31]

Wiener Stadthalle

La porzione soundboard di questa registrazione esiste da tempo immemorabile e qualunque fan dei LZ che si rispetti ne gode dunque da moltissime lune, ma da poco è stata resa disponibile nei circuiti internet che si occupano di registrazioni dal vivo non ufficiali la versione forse definitiva, quella creata mettendo insieme nel miglior modo possibile le tre registrazioni audience (prese dal pubblico) e quella soundboard (presa dal mixer).

La produzione (che comprende anche le copertine e le note e le specifiche tecniche) è a cura di Nite Owl production. E’ bene precisare che NiteOwl si è servito dell’ottimo lavoro fatto a suo tempo da Winston Remasters con Danke Vienna.

LED ZEPPELIN – 1973-03-16 – Vienna – NEW 4 SOURCE MATRIX (16bit)

Led Zeppelin – “Vienna Fireworks: Live in Europe 1973”
Recorded Friday evening March 16, 1973 at the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria

STEREO MATRIX of 4 recordings synchronized & mixed together in varying levels & combinations: AUD sources 1-3 and SBD (where available).

SONGS: [2:11:25]
01. introduction [0:57]
02. Rock and Roll (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) [3:48]
03. Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant) [6:41]
04. Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:18]
05. Misty Mountain Hop (Jones, Page, Plant) [4:27]
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones, Page, Plant) [9:09]
07. Dancing Days (Page, Plant) [5:53]
08. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:26]
09. The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant) [5:20]
10. The Rain Song (Page, Plant) [9:19]
— [* = board tape available / optional disc division @ 58:19]
11. Dazed and Confused (Page, Holmes) * [28:30] contains:
San Fransisco (Phillips)
Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)
12. Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant) * [10:59]
13. Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) [25:36] contains:
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Wexler, Berns, Burke)
Boogie Chillun’ (Besman, Hooker) *
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Leiber, Stoller) *
Let’s Have a Party (Robinson) *
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) *
14. Heartbreaker (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) * [8:01]

 

Il Robert Plant che parte in Rock and Roll è finalmente altra cosa rispetto a quello con continui problemi alla voce delle settimane e mesi precedenti; anche il gruppo pare in forma sin da subito benché serva sempre un po’ prima di carburare. Over the Hills and Far Away mi è sempre sembrata fuori posto come secondo pezzo della scaletta, ma il gruppo qui la suona bene comunque. Nella parte hard rock RP evita i picchi vocali usati nella versione da studio ma il brano sta in piedi ugualmente. La qualità audio audience (il soundboard è relativo solo al secondo disco) è molto buona, il lavoro fatto da Nite Owl sembra già in queste prime battute ottimo, suono corposo e chiaro. Sul finale scoppia un petardo.

RP: Good evening. Good evening! Steady. Now tonight we must be very careful not to do too many things, because Mr Jones, has, uh, colic. Must be careful. So, all your spiritual feelings must go straight to Mr Jones’ stomach, for a bit of health. Beyond that note. Here is a song about, uh, about a rather oversexed, uh, member of the canine family. This is called ‘Black Dog’.

Robert annuncia dunque che John Paul Jones stasera soffre di coliche, ma a sentirlo suonare non si direbbe proprio.

Black Dog è suonata molto bene, il tocco di Page nel riff è di quelli magici, pieno di dinamica. La voce di Robert è aiutata da un po’ di echo (o delay) mentre Jones e Bonham sono sempre una meraviglia da ascoltare. I giochetti di cassa di Bonham sono fenomenali.

RP: Danke schön. This is, uh, an instrum, a number that features Mr Jones on piano. And he’s having a lot of trouble gettin’ about. This is a song that in England, uh, it’s understandable because wherever you go to enjoy yourself Big Brother is not very far behind. And Big Brother is a term used for the paranoid establishment. And, uh, if it’s ever happened to you, you know what it’s like. But this is what comes of walking through the park with a packet of cigarette papers. What does that man mean? This is called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Misty Mountain Hop è il solito trampolino di lancio per l’ennesima grande versione targata 1973 di Since I’ve Been Loving You. Jimmy Page pare spiritato sin dall’inizio; nelle parti lente e riflessive il feeling è di un candore impressionante, al tempo stesso immacolato e  dissoluto. L’interplay tra Robert e Jimmy è un meraviglia. La qualità audio si conferma ottima (tenendo sempre presente che stiamo parlando di una registrazione audience). In cuffia la sensazione è quella di essere presenti al concerto.

RP: Thank you. Danke schön. It’s very nice to be here in Vienna. Very nice. You’ve even got some good groupies. Ha ha, ha ha. Um, this is a song, about, uh, this is a song off the new album which comes out sometime this year. The LP is called Houses of the Holy. We all hope you rush out and, uh, look at a copy. And this is a song about little school girls, and, uh, not too little, mind you, not too little, and, uh, my love for ‘em. Remembering what happened to Jerry Lee Lewis, I think I’ll take it easy. Mr, Mr Bonham there? Two hundred pounds? ‘Dancing Days.’

Le versioni live di Dancing Days sono sempre divertenti; John Bonham sembra spassarsela sempre un sacco.

RP: Thank you very much. Very nice to be, uh, walking towards the mic stand. This is our number where we show our age and we have to sit down a little bit. You’ll have to shut up up there! Sshh, sshh. I don’t know what you’re sayin’, but it’s, uh, contrary to the state regulations. Actually, this is a clean up tour for us, as opposed to a mop up. Shut up! Here is a song that was written in the, in the mountains in, in, in Wales, where there is no electricity, no running water, no chicks. Actually, I tell a lie, and plenty of sheep. Ha, ha, ha. It is a song about a little dog who I know very well. …. This is a song called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur.’ Ooops. This is a song with a Welsh title. It’s a song I enjoy singing in foreign parts ‘cuz it reminds me of the good times that I have with my dog. That’s a, now for those pople who can’t speak English, this is called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.’ And you can all help us with the aid of your dolies(?). I know. We must wait for Mr Jones who has a bad tummy. Bless you. Now don’t do that, nicht gut. You’ve got it. It’s just the rhythm.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (including a bit of That’s The Way) come sempre vede John Bonham alla seconda voce. Solito irresistibile quadretto danzereccio campagnolo.

RP: Another, um, this song is, uh, for a couple in Moulin Rouge. And Mr. Bonham’s delight at the Moulin Rouge tonight. Far out. Ha ha. This is called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

Con The Song Remains the Same la vaporiera LZ si getta tra le acque agitate del fiume a tutta velocità per poi attraccare in insenature tranquille grazie alla bellezza assoluta di The Rain Song. Da segnalare l’assolo di Page sulla 12 corde durante TSRTS, spettacolare!

RP: John Paul Jones played the mellotron with a bad stomach.

RP: Here is, uh, a song that comes from a long long long time ago. When we were all nineteen. You never did, you schmuck. Wait, stop, go home. On you, the Scotsman. You’d have to be a Scotsman to do that. Anyway, here’s one from a long time ago.

Dazed And Confused è la consueta tormenta elettrica costruita su fasi diverse a loro volta ispirate dalle differenti missioni umane: l’esplorazione del cosmo, degli inferi, del mistero della vita. Che un gruppo Rock sapesse suonare, improvvisare e restare compatto in quel modo è ancora oggi per me un evento inspiegabile. Poco dopo il minuto 5:00 inizia la transizione tra registrazione audience e registrazione soundboard, la qualità audio migliora sensibilmente ma vale pena ribadire ancora che anche la registrazione audience ha comunque il suo perché. Il solito accenno a There Was A Time di James Brown e poi è già tempo di San Francisco. I quattro musicisti si allineano sull’arpeggio di MI minore e DO di Page, Plant vi canta sopra l’immancabile If You’Re Going To San Francisco di Scott McKenzie, quindi tutti insieme vanno a quietarsi per poi perdersi nel mare dell’inquietudine della violin bow section. Page si mette il vestito da negromante, illusionista e stregone e ipnotizza il pubblico con i suoni che fuoriescono dalla sua Les Paul trattata con l’archetto di violino. Abbiamo descritto questo momento tante volte, ma l’effetto che ha sulla nostre psiche non ci permette di esimerci dal magnificare il talento pittorico di Page nel mettere su tela i suoni dell’infinito. Subito dopo, breve botta e risposta da Page e Bonham e via che si parte per la sgroppata a rotta di collo lungo i sentirei dell’improvvisazione più alta. Dopo l’ultima strofa, la chiusura è di nuovo un portento di improvvisazione … mai sentito un gruppo Rock a questo livello. 27 minuti di meraviglia sonora.

RP: (Happiness is a warm gun.) That was an old song called ‘Dazed and Confused.’ And now we’d like to. John Paul Jones’ stomach … This song is for you, Dalia, wherever you are. Oh, there she is.

 

Stairway To Heaven è piena si sentimento ed è il ritratto perfetto della bellezza musicale. Ognuno ha le sue preferenze ma è indubbio che le versione del tour del 1973 di certi pezzi sono da considerarsi definitive (penso in particolare a STH, SIBLY, NO Q e WLL).

RP: Danke schön. This is a song for people who like to boogie a little bit. In fact, it’s the most basic thing that anybody can possibly do. In fact, we should all be doing it tonight. Ha ha, ha, ha, ha.

Dopo STH torna il piombo Zeppelin. Whole Lotta Love (Ain’t It Funky Now/Sing A Simple Song/Cat’s Squirrel, Boogie Chillum, Boogie Mama, Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Lemon Song) si riempie di riferimenti e di divertissement. Si parte, dopo le prime strofe, con accenni strumentali a Ain’t It Funky Now di James Brown, a Sing A Simple Song di Sly & The Family Stone e a Cat’s Squirrell dei Cream. Dopo l’assolo e la terza strofa ci si butta in Boogie Chillum di John Lee Hooker e quindi nella sempre travolgente Boogie Mama, per me – nella versione del live ufficiale del 1973 (1976) TSRTS – uno dei punti più alti del gruppo. Seguono (You Are So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, successo di Elvis scritto nel 1957 da Leiber & Stoller, e Let’s Have A Party anch’essa del 1957 e cantata da Elvis e scritta da Jessie Mae Robinson. Si chiude il siparietto con I Can’t Quit You Baby e The Lemon Song, un lungo unico blues dove i ragazzi provano a smontare i confini delle 12 battute e a riscrivere – da bianchi – la musica dei neri che li ha formati.

RP: Thank you very much and goodnight. That’s, that’s enough. Good.

L’improvvisazione prima di Heartbreaker è da sempre fonte di gioia per i fan; trattasi di 60 secondi scarsi di hard rock funk improvvisato, Jones e Bonham che accontentano Page seguendolo in uno dei suoi riff meravigliosamente strampalati creati sul momento. Nell’assolo centrale Page cerca di parlare al pubblico con la chitarra prima di iniziare la famigliare scarica di note. Sentirlo suonare in maniera così potente, sicura (e sporca) è una delle belle cose della vita. Bourrée, il pezzetto Ragtime e infine la ripartenza con tutto il gruppo. Plant canta la strofa finale un po’ a fatica, è attento a non esagerare, nelle sue condizioni essere arrivato a fine concerto in maniera ben più che dignitosa è tanto, meglio non cadere proprio alla fine.

RP: Thank you very much, Vienna. And goodnight. Thank you very much. It’s been a very nice night

Già, a a very nice night, un gran bella serata quella passata a Vienna 47 anni fa. Gran concerto e gran bella versione di questa registrazione live.

◊ ◊ ◊

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MATRIX NOTES:

The general aim was to provide the whole concert in as consistent and upgraded a listening experience as could be stitched together from the various recordings which are all incomplete. While there are always some downsides to matrixing analog recordings that have been manually synchronized, it is hoped that the benefits, such as the improved stereo dimension, of the results outweigh those deficiencies. Further lesser quality audience sources than those described below also exist but were not used.

AUD source #1: The master was reportedly a TDK SA 90 cassette, which matches the 45 + 45 minutes which are extant and captured tracks 2-8 & 12 and parts of 1, 9, 11, 13. Winston Remaster used for the first part (which is unmatrixed on that version). Best of the audience recordings overall, recorded close to the stage towards one side. The guitar is somewhat buried here.

AUD source #2: A lower/medium quality cassette recording at a greater distance to the stage, used only to patch missing AUD sections of tracks 1 & 9-11 (and the encore break before 14).

AUD source #3: Captured most of the concert except for the introduction and notably two gaps in DAC. The master reported to have been recorded with Sony mics to Uher Report reel-to-reel. Close to the quality of AUD.1 but with a different sound balance (guitar is prominent, vocals somewhat buried) and recorded towards the other side of the stage. Matrixing with AUD.1 thus allows reproducing the occasional stereo panning effects of the house mix (which are not present on the SBD): guitar break in Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, bow solo in DAC, Theremin in WLL.

SBD source: Apparently a 60 minute cassette which contains most of tracks 11-14. However, several minutes of 11/DAC & 13/WLL are missing, as the tape was not flipped immediately when the side or reel A ran out. There was probably another cassette on which the first hour of the concert was recorded (or copied), including the beginning of DAC, with the engineer likely missing some two minutes of the song between the cassettes, after the first one stopped and until recording resumed on a fresh tape. The reason why only the second cassette is available (for this and also certain other dates) is perhaps that someone in or with the band wanted a listening copy of just the songs with improvisation. The mix that was recorded is not exactly the same as what was played over the PA, as some of the delay/reverb effects (particularly on the vocals), as well as the panning, heard on the audience recordings are not present.

Track by track breakdown:
tr.01: AUD.2+1. AUD.2 contains half a minute more of the pre-show compared to AUD.1, none of which is on AUD.3.
02-08: AUD.1+3. SBD not available for the first part of the show but AUD.1 & 3 run practically without breaks until the end of BYAS.
09: AUD.1/2+3. AUD.1 has breaks during the intro and its side A completely cuts out @ 1:30 into TSRTS; the taper evidently did not flip the tape and resume recording until well into DAC which gap has here been patched with AUD.2.
10: AUD.2+3. AUD.1 thus does not exist for The Rain Song; the lower quality tape of AUD.2 used to substitute.
11: AUD.2/1+3. AUD.1 continues recording @ 5:00 while AUD.3 cuts out around 6:45 for one minute. Both gaps in DAC have been patched by matrixing with AUD.2, except for the section between roughly 2:50 and 4:00 where that tape itself has a discontinuity.
11: SBD & AUD.1+3. SBD cuts in about 15 seconds after AUD.1, i.e., around 5:15 into DAC from which point on it is the main source for the matrix but augmented with AUD.1 & 3 – and some patching from AUD.2 – as far as they are available.
12: SBD & AUD.1+3. AUD.3 has short cuts in the introduction; SBD cuts out after STH ends as the tape side ran out.
13: AUD.1+3 / SBD & AUD.1+3. Side B of the AUD.1 cassette runs out around 10:15 into WLL but SBD continued recording 4 minutes before that.
13-14: SBD & AUD.3. The segment containing the last 13 minutes of WLL and nearly all of Heartbreaker is therefore a matrix of SBD and AUD.3 since AUD.1 was no longer recording. The encore break is largely cut on both sources between the songs: AUD.3 misses about 2:20 of atmosphere while SBD loses only 1:30 and has the first notes of Heartbreaker intact. For the sake of completeness the missing part has again been patched from AUD.2 although the change in sound is noticeable.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to all the tapers and the persons who made the digital transfers, and Winston Remasters whose version of AUD source 1 has been appropriated. (Indeed the whole of “Danke! Vienna”, which matrixes only the parts where both AUD.1 and SBD are available, was useful for reference. Note that in the notes to that title, AUD.3 is called “Aud Source 2” whereas here it is referred to as AUD.3.)

Artwork included. A Nite Owl production (NO-2020-12).

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(broken) ENGLISH

The LZ European tour of March 1973 is – as far as performances are concerned – one of the group’s peaks. Although RP between the end of 1972 and January 1973 had suffered from voice problems and was probably no longer the rock singer with celestial timbre and limitless extension that the audience had in mind, from an instrumental point of view the band traveled on stellar levels. The songlist was the richest so far, the mood of the group was still very high, the management at full capacity and lucidity and Jimmy Page sounded like the Jimmy Page of the collective imagination. Copenhagen (02/03/1973, Goteborg (04/03/1973), Stockholm (06/03/1973), then two shows canceled in Sweden and Norway and then Nuremberg (14/03/1973) and precisely Vienna on 16. Afterwards, another 11 concerts spent between Germany and France (where two more were canceled due to riots), a four-week break and then off to the equally legendary American tour spent between May, June and July.

The Vienna concert was held at the Stadthalle, 16,000-seat indoor hall and it was a success, an excerpt from the Melody maker’s account of the time:

“The historic city of Vienna, normally bulging at the seams with Strauss and grand operas, played host on Friday night to Led Zeppelin at the enormous Wiener Stadthalle.
“Introduced as the ‘Rock sensation of the year’, the group took the stage and went straight into a deafening version of ‘Good Times Bad Times’ [sic]. Robert Plant strode around with chest barred and hair flailing, thrusting his pelvic grind at the audience, while Jimmy Page, wearing his Les Paul low-strung, crushed out well amplified chords. ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ followed, and both songs included some dynamic drumming from John Bonham, who hammered the skins for all his was worth.
“Things quieted down in ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’, their only acoustic number. Page then brought out his double-necked Gibson for ‘The Song Remains the Same’, from the new album and John Paul Jones who it was announced was suffering from a stomach complaint, provided some superb orchestral effects on the mellotron.
“The opening bars of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ were greeted with a huge roar, and when the band finally broke into ‘Whole Lotta Love’, that was the cue for a general stampede towards the front of the sage.” — Dave Hopkins [Melody Maker, 1973-03-31]

Wiener Stadthalle

The soundboard portion of this recording has existed from time immemorial and any self-respecting LZ fan has therefore enjoyed it for many many moons, but recently the whole recording has been made available, on the internet circuits that deal with unofficial live recordings, in a new version created by putting together the three audience recordings (taken from the audience) and the soundboard (taken from the mixer) in the best possible way.

The production (which also includes the covers and the notes and the technical specifications) is by Nite Owl production. It is good to point out that NiteOwl has made use of the excellent work done at the time by Winston Remasters with Danke Vienna.


LED ZEPPELIN – 1973-03-16 – Vienna – NEW 4 SOURCE MATRIX (16bit)

Led Zeppelin – “Vienna Fireworks: Live in Europe 1973”
Recorded Friday evening March 16, 1973 at the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria

STEREO MATRIX of 4 recordings synchronized & mixed together in varying levels & combinations: AUD sources 1-3 and SBD (where available).

SONGS: [2:11:25]
01. introduction [0:57]
02. Rock and Roll (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) [3:48]
03. Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant) [6:41]
04. Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:18]
05. Misty Mountain Hop (Jones, Page, Plant) [4:27]
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones, Page, Plant) [9:09]
07. Dancing Days (Page, Plant) [5:53]
08. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (Jones, Page, Plant) [6:26]
09. The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant) [5:20]
10. The Rain Song (Page, Plant) [9:19]
— [* = board tape available / optional disc division @ 58:19]
11. Dazed and Confused (Page, Holmes) * [28:30] contains:
San Fransisco (Phillips)
Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)
12. Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant) * [10:59]
13. Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) [25:36] contains:
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (Wexler, Berns, Burke)
Boogie Chillun’ (Besman, Hooker) *
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Leiber, Stoller) *
Let’s Have a Party (Robinson) *
I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) *
14. Heartbreaker (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) * [8:01]

 

The Robert Plant that starts in Rock and Roll is finally something else than the one with constant problems with the voice of the previous weeks and months; the group seems to be in shape right from the start although it always serves a little before fueling. Over the Hills and Far Away always seemed to me out of place as the second piece of the setlist, but the group here does it well anyway. In the hard rock part RP avoids the vocal peaks used in the studio version but the song is still standing. The audio audience quality (the soundboard is relative only to the second disc) is very good, the work done by Nite Owl seems already in these first few bars excellent, full-bodied and clear sound. At the end of the song a firecracker breaks out.

RP: Good evening. Good evening! Steady. Now tonight we must be very careful not to do too many things, because Mr Jones, has, uh, colic. Must be careful. So, all your spiritual feelings must go straight to Mr Jones’ stomach, for a bit of health. Beyond that note. Here is a song about, uh, about a rather oversexed, uh, member of the canine family. This is called ‘Black Dog’.

Robert therefore announces that John Paul Jones suffers from colic tonight, but hearing him play you’d say he is in perfect shape.

Black Dog is played very well, the touch of Page in the riff is magical, full of dynamics. Robert’s voice is helped by a little echo (or delay) while Jones and Bonham are always a marvel to listen to. Bonham’s bass drum tricks are phenomenal.

RP: Danke schön. This is, uh, an instrum, a number that features Mr Jones on piano. And he’s having a lot of trouble gettin’ about. This is a song that in England, uh, it’s understandable because wherever you go to enjoy yourself Big Brother is not very far behind. And Big Brother is a term used for the paranoid establishment. And, uh, if it’s ever happened to you, you know what it’s like. But this is what comes of walking through the park with a packet of cigarette papers. What does that man mean? This is called ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

Misty Mountain Hop is the usual springboard for yet another great 1973 version of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Jimmy Page seems spirited from the beginning; in the slow and reflective parts the feeling is of an impressive candor, at the same time immaculate and dissolute. The interplay between Robert and Jimmy is a marvel. The audio quality is confirmed to be excellent (always keeping in mind that we are talking about an audience recording). With the headphones the feeling is that of being present at the concert.

RP: Thank you. Danke schön. It’s very nice to be here in Vienna. Very nice. You’ve even got some good groupies. Ha ha, ha ha. Um, this is a song, about, uh, this is a song off the new album which comes out sometime this year. The LP is called Houses of the Holy. We all hope you rush out and, uh, look at a copy. And this is a song about little school girls, and, uh, not too little, mind you, not too little, and, uh, my love for ‘em. Remembering what happened to Jerry Lee Lewis, I think I’ll take it easy. Mr, Mr Bonham there? Two hundred pounds? ‘Dancing Days.’

Live versions of Dancing Days are always fun; John Bonham always seems to be having a great time.

RP: Thank you very much. Very nice to be, uh, walking towards the mic stand. This is our number where we show our age and we have to sit down a little bit. You’ll have to shut up up there! Sshh, sshh. I don’t know what you’re sayin’, but it’s, uh, contrary to the state regulations. Actually, this is a clean up tour for us, as opposed to a mop up. Shut up! Here is a song that was written in the, in the mountains in, in, in Wales, where there is no electricity, no running water, no chicks. Actually, I tell a lie, and plenty of sheep. Ha, ha, ha. It is a song about a little dog who I know very well. …. This is a song called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur.’ Ooops. This is a song with a Welsh title. It’s a song I enjoy singing in foreign parts ‘cuz it reminds me of the good times that I have with my dog. That’s a, now for those pople who can’t speak English, this is called ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.’ And you can all help us with the aid of your dolies(?). I know. We must wait for Mr Jones who has a bad tummy. Bless you. Now don’t do that, nicht gut. You’ve got it. It’s just the rhythm.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (including a bit of That’s The Way) as usual features John Bonham on backing vocals. Usual irresistible rural dance picture.

RP: Another, um, this song is, uh, for a couple in Moulin Rouge. And Mr. Bonham’s delight at the Moulin Rouge tonight. Far out. Ha ha. This is called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’

With The Song Remains the Same, the LZ steamboat flows into the troubled waters of the river at full speed and then moors in quiet coves thanks to the absolute beauty of The Rain Song. Noteworthy is Page’s solo on the 12 strings during TSRTS, spectacular!

RP: John Paul Jones played the mellotron with a bad stomach.

RP: Here is, uh, a song that comes from a long long long time ago. When we were all nineteen. You never did, you schmuck. Wait, stop, go home. On you, the Scotsman. You’d have to be a Scotsman to do that. Anyway, here’s one from a long time ago.

Dazed And Confused is the usual electric blizzard built on different phases which in turn are inspired by different human missions: the exploration of the cosmos, the underworld, the mystery of life. That a rock band could play, improvise and remain compact in that way is still an inexplicable event for me even today. Shortly after minute 5:00 the transition between audience recording and soundboard recording begins, the audio quality improves significantly but it is worth reiterating that the audience recording also has its charm. The usual hint of James Brown‘s There Was A Time and then it’s already San Francisco time. The four musicians line up on the arpeggio of E minor and C by Page, Plant sings over it the inevitable If You’Re Going To San Francisco by Scott McKenzie, then all together they go to quiet down and then get lost in the sea of ​​restlessness of the violin bow section. Page puts on his necromancer, illusionist and sorcerer outfit and hypnotizes the audience with the sounds that come out of his electric Les Paul treated with the violin bow. We have described this moment many times, but the effect it has on our psyche does not allow us to exempt ourselves from magnifying Page’s pictorial talent in putting the sounds of infinity on canvas. Immediately afterwards, a short call and response from Page and Bonham and off we go for the ride along the paths of the highest improvisation. After the last verse, the closure is once again a portent of improvisation … never heard a Rock group at this level. 27 minutes of sonic wonder.

RP: (Happiness is a warm gun.) That was an old song called ‘Dazed and Confused.’ And now we’d like to. John Paul Jones’ stomach … This song is for you, Dalia, wherever you are. Oh, there she is.

 

Stairway To Heaven is full of feeling and is the perfect portrait of musical beauty. Everyone has their preferences but there is no doubt that the 1973 tour version of certain pieces are to be considered definitive (I think in particular of STH, SIBLY, NO Q and WLL).

RP: Danke schön. This is a song for people who like to boogie a little bit. In fact, it’s the most basic thing that anybody can possibly do. In fact, we should all be doing it tonight. Ha ha, ha, ha, ha.

After STH the lead Zeppelin returns. Whole Lotta Love (Ain’t It Funky Now / Sing A Simple Song / Cat’s Squirrel, Boogie Chillum, Boogie Mama, Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Lemon Song) fills up of references and divertissement. It starts, after the first verses, with instrumental hints to James Brown’s Ain’t It Funky Now, to Sly & The Family Stone‘s Sing A Simple Song and to Cream‘s Cat’s Squirrell. After the solo and the third verse they throw themselves in John Lee Hooker‘s Boogie Chillum and then in the always overwhelming Boogie Mama, for me – the version of the official live of 1973 (1976) TSRTS – one of the highest points of the group.Then (You Are So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, an Elvis hit written in 1957 by Leiber & Stoller, Let’s Have A Party also from 1957 and sung by Elvis and written by Jessie Mae Robinson and I Can’t Quit You Baby and The Lemon Song, a long single blues where the boys try to dismantle the boundaries of the 12 bars and rewrite – as whites – the music of the blacks who formed them.

RP: Thank you very much and goodnight. That’s, that’s enough. Good.

The improvisation before Heartbreaker has always been a source of joy for fans; it is a matter of 60 seconds of improvised hard rock funk, Jones and Bonham content Page by following one of his wonderfully bizarre riffs created on the spot. In the central solo Page tries to speak to the public on guitar before starting the familiar burst of notes. Hearing him play so powerfully, lively (and dirty) is one of the good things in life. Bourrée, the Ragtime piece and finally the restart with the whole group. Plant struggles a bit in the last verse, he is careful not to overdo it, in his condition having arrived at the end of the concert in a way more than dignified is so much, better to not fall right at the end.

RP: Thank you very much, Vienna. And goodnight. Thank you very much. It’s been a very nice night

Yes, a very nice night indeed the one in Vienna i 47 years ago. Great concert and great version of this live recording.

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊ ◊

MATRIX NOTES:

The general aim was to provide the whole concert in as consistent and upgraded a listening experience as could be stitched together from the various recordings which are all incomplete. While there are always some downsides to matrixing analog recordings that have been manually synchronized, it is hoped that the benefits, such as the improved stereo dimension, of the results outweigh those deficiencies. Further lesser quality audience sources than those described below also exist but were not used.

AUD source #1: The master was reportedly a TDK SA 90 cassette, which matches the 45 + 45 minutes which are extant and captured tracks 2-8 & 12 and parts of 1, 9, 11, 13. Winston Remaster used for the first part (which is unmatrixed on that version). Best of the audience recordings overall, recorded close to the stage towards one side. The guitar is somewhat buried here.

AUD source #2: A lower/medium quality cassette recording at a greater distance to the stage, used only to patch missing AUD sections of tracks 1 & 9-11 (and the encore break before 14).

AUD source #3: Captured most of the concert except for the introduction and notably two gaps in DAC. The master reported to have been recorded with Sony mics to Uher Report reel-to-reel. Close to the quality of AUD.1 but with a different sound balance (guitar is prominent, vocals somewhat buried) and recorded towards the other side of the stage. Matrixing with AUD.1 thus allows reproducing the occasional stereo panning effects of the house mix (which are not present on the SBD): guitar break in Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, bow solo in DAC, Theremin in WLL.

SBD source: Apparently a 60 minute cassette which contains most of tracks 11-14. However, several minutes of 11/DAC & 13/WLL are missing, as the tape was not flipped immediately when the side or reel A ran out. There was probably another cassette on which the first hour of the concert was recorded (or copied), including the beginning of DAC, with the engineer likely missing some two minutes of the song between the cassettes, after the first one stopped and until recording resumed on a fresh tape. The reason why only the second cassette is available (for this and also certain other dates) is perhaps that someone in or with the band wanted a listening copy of just the songs with improvisation. The mix that was recorded is not exactly the same as what was played over the PA, as some of the delay/reverb effects (particularly on the vocals), as well as the panning, heard on the audience recordings are not present.

Track by track breakdown:
tr.01: AUD.2+1. AUD.2 contains half a minute more of the pre-show compared to AUD.1, none of which is on AUD.3.
02-08: AUD.1+3. SBD not available for the first part of the show but AUD.1 & 3 run practically without breaks until the end of BYAS.
09: AUD.1/2+3. AUD.1 has breaks during the intro and its side A completely cuts out @ 1:30 into TSRTS; the taper evidently did not flip the tape and resume recording until well into DAC which gap has here been patched with AUD.2.
10: AUD.2+3. AUD.1 thus does not exist for The Rain Song; the lower quality tape of AUD.2 used to substitute.
11: AUD.2/1+3. AUD.1 continues recording @ 5:00 while AUD.3 cuts out around 6:45 for one minute. Both gaps in DAC have been patched by matrixing with AUD.2, except for the section between roughly 2:50 and 4:00 where that tape itself has a discontinuity.
11: SBD & AUD.1+3. SBD cuts in about 15 seconds after AUD.1, i.e., around 5:15 into DAC from which point on it is the main source for the matrix but augmented with AUD.1 & 3 – and some patching from AUD.2 – as far as they are available.
12: SBD & AUD.1+3. AUD.3 has short cuts in the introduction; SBD cuts out after STH ends as the tape side ran out.
13: AUD.1+3 / SBD & AUD.1+3. Side B of the AUD.1 cassette runs out around 10:15 into WLL but SBD continued recording 4 minutes before that.
13-14: SBD & AUD.3. The segment containing the last 13 minutes of WLL and nearly all of Heartbreaker is therefore a matrix of SBD and AUD.3 since AUD.1 was no longer recording. The encore break is largely cut on both sources between the songs: AUD.3 misses about 2:20 of atmosphere while SBD loses only 1:30 and has the first notes of Heartbreaker intact. For the sake of completeness the missing part has again been patched from AUD.2 although the change in sound is noticeable.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to all the tapers and the persons who made the digital transfers, and Winston Remasters whose version of AUD source 1 has been appropriated. (Indeed the whole of “Danke! Vienna”, which matrixes only the parts where both AUD.1 and SBD are available, was useful for reference. Note that in the notes to that title, AUD.3 is called “Aud Source 2” whereas here it is referred to as AUD.3.)

Artwork included. A Nite Owl production (NO-2020-12).

©Tim Tirelli – april 2020

2 Risposte to “BOOTLEGS: Led Zeppelin, Vienna 16/03/1973 (new 4 source matrix)”

  1. mikebravo 29/04/2020 a 12:19 #

    Dazed And Confused è la consueta tormenta elettrica costruita su fasi diverse a loro volta ispirate dalle differenti missioni umane: l’esplorazione del cosmo, degli inferi, del mistero della vita. Che un gruppo Rock sapesse suonare,……….GRANDE LOWELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Piace a 1 persona

  2. timtirelli 29/04/2020 a 12:38 #

    Grazie Mike. :-) :-) :-)

    "Mi piace"

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